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Level 3 Diploma

Criminology & Social Science (Access to Higher Education)


1 Year*


Level 3

Career Sector


Available At


Start Date


Days & Times

10 hours, spread over 2 days


£2,995† (Eligible for Advanced Learner Loan)

Course overview

An Access to Higher Education Diploma will enable you to go to university if you don’t currently have the qualifications you need. They are widely recognised by most universities, including local institutes such as Anglia Ruskin University, the University of Essex and the University of East London.

This course will prepare you for study at degree level by improving study skills in addition to studying Criminology, Criminal Law and Social Science in detail.

You will also undertake a research project on a topic of your choice with the aim of developing your independent learning skills.


  • Theories of Criminal Behaviour
  • Crime & Deviance
  • Cognitive psychology
  • Developmental psychology
  • Social psychology
  • Criminal law and sentencing—principles and practice
  • Academic Preparation for Higher Education
  • Research skills for criminology.

How will I be taught and assessed?

Essays, reports, portfolio, case studies, presentation, structured questions and exams.

Why study at USP College?

  • Trips to Parliament and the Old Bailey and a Criminology conference
  • Visits from local Magistrates and Barrister
  • Expert tutors with many years of experience in teaching the subject to Level 3 and beyond and in teaching and supporting adults returning to study
  • A friendly, supportive environment where students are challenged and engaged
  • Excellent pass rates and progression rates to university
  • Centre of good practice for the qualification board in many areas including the progress of students from starting points and for being a ‘keen and dedicated’ team who are ‘fantastic, reflective teachers.’ They always act ‘for the good of the learners,’ who get a ‘fantastic learning experience at USP.’

What could I do next?

You could go on to study a degree in Criminology, Social Science, Law or other related fields. You could also go on to study the Public Services HNC/HND at the college.

Former Student Success

Former Access to Criminology students are currently studying criminology, psychology and law, criminology and forensic investigation, criminology and sociology at University

Entry requirements

  • You must be aged 19 or over at registration
  • You must have English Language GCSE grade C/4 or above or Level 2 Functional Skills English. It is desirable to also have GCSE/L2 Maths but if not, then a commitment to study it alongside Access (on a separate evening) is required as most universities require both English and Maths.
  • Unfortunately, if you have neither Maths or English, we are unable to enrol you onto the Access course at this time. However, you could study GCSE English and Maths (potentially for free) at the college first, before going on to the Access course.


Additional costs

  • Trips normally require travel to and from London venues and there is a £20 additional cost for the criminology conference
  • You will need to purchase stationery e.g. pens, paper, folders, plastic wallets
  • Although there is no single text that covers all units, purchasing any used version of an A-Level/Level 3 textbook for Criminology and for Criminal Law would be advantageous.


* This course can be studied part-time over two years (one day a week) spreading the cost of the course to £1,500 per year. The part-time option can also be funded by the Advanced Learner Loan. This can be discussed at interview.

**The course runs between 9am-4pm with an average of 10 hours weekly teaching time spread over two days. Please note that days and times are dependent on subject choice and may be subject to change.

†If you are aged 19-24 and have not completed a Level 3 course already, you may be eligible to study for FREE! Subject to funding, call 01268 882 618 for more information. Alternatively, and for learners aged 25+, you could be eligible to apply for an Advanced Learner Loan to fund the cost of your course.

Access to HE FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

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